Vikings Ahoy!

Vikings supposedly admired the Danish town of Roskilde. They apparently sunk ships in the Roskilde fjord on purpose to stop invading warriors reaching the city. Because of this legend and others my husband and I took a daytrip to the city during our long weekend in Copenhagen.

Roskilde is small and pleasant. The train station is one of the country’s oldest. It was built in 1847 and is still in good condition. The two main points of interest for visitors are the Roskilde Cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum.

Site vs sight: A site is a term for a place with a specific purpose, for example a building site or a burial site. A sight is a place of interest for tourists.

The Cathedral was built during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its slim spires are one of the city’s defining characteristics. The gothic cathedral is beautiful with highly decorated chapels in different styles, so they show a history of Danish architecture. In the early 15th century the cathedral became the main burial site for Danish kings and queens. All 39 monarchs were buried here. The most recent burial spot was added in 1985.

But the main reason we’re here is for the shipwrecks. Five wrecks of Viking ships from the 11th century are on display in the Viking Ship Hall, which is at the edge of the Roskilde Fjord. The museum provides information on Viking times, their life, how they were able to master the seas and highlights of local battles.

Next to the museum on the docks is an outdoor display of Viking ship building. You can see metal being made into parts or oars being carved. Plus, you can watch craftsmen building full-size replicas of the Norse boats. I really have no knowledge of, or much interest in, Vikings or ships but even I found this part interesting.

Set sail: This is a set phrase in English. When a boat starts its journey it sets sail. It is probably derived from the phrasal verb set off which means to start a journey.

Near the museum we noticed you could row a replica Viking ship. This made my husband quite excited, so we went to find out when the next boat would set sail. The boat we were on was about 10 meters long. Other boats were 50 meters or more. We put on life jackets and got in the boat with four other people, plus the driver. He taught us the rhythm so we could properly row as a group.

It was a bit difficult to get the movement right but when we did we were able to move out from the crowded harbor area and into the fjord. Away from the other boats, the driver put up the sail and let the wind take us. We toured a bit and then he took us back towards the dock. As we returned, he took the sail down and we took up the oars again for the final part of the trip.

Roskilde was an easy daytrip from Copenhagen and enjoyable in its own right. The Old Town has parts dating from the 10th century, and there’s enough to keep the curious amused for a day. But a stroll along the edge of the fjord through Viking history, topped with experiencing the fjord from a boat made this medieval town one to remember.

Original article by Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

Vikings Ahoy Quiz: Medium

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Vikings seemed to really like the Danish town of Roskilde. They possibly even sunk boats in the harbor to stop other people coming. Because of this legend, my husband and I decided to take a daytrip to the city while we were in Copenhagen.

The town itself is small and attractive. It has one of the country’s oldest train stations. It was built in 1847 and is similar to Italian stations of the time. It is still in good condition. But the two most interesting buildings are the Roskilde Cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum.

To be buried is an example of the passive. Its structure is ‘to be’ plus the past participle (third form).

The Cathedral was built during the 12th and 13th centuries. It is one of the main features of the town.  All 39 Danish monarchs were buried here. Their stone coffins are an example of many different architectural styles.

Denmark is famous for its Viking history. Viking ships can be seen in the Viking Ship Hall located at the edge of the Roskilde Fjord. The museum also shows how Vikings lived and fought. Also near the museum you can watch craftsmen building full-size replicas of Viking boats. My husband was very happy to see so many examples of Viking history.

There was also a chance to ride the boats. This made my husband even more excited. We found a boat which was 10 meters long. We put on life jackets and got in with four other people, plus the driver. He taught us how to row, which was a bit difficult at first, but once we got the rhythm we sailed out nicely.

Away from the boats, he put up the sail and we toured the fjord a bit. On the way back we had to row again.

Apart from Viking history, Roskilde is interesting itself and makes an easy daytrip from Copenhagen. A ride on the Viking boat made the trip even more memorable.

Original article by Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

Vikings Ahoy Quiz: Mild

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Vikings supposedly admired the Danish town of Roskilde. Its name was inscribed on coins from the late 900s. The warriors purportedly sunk ships in the Roskilde fjord on purpose to protect it from invading warriors. It was these types of Viking legends that led my husband and traveling companion and I to take a daytrip to the city during our long weekend in Copenhagen.

The town itself is small and attractive. The Italian inspired train station is one of the country’s oldest – built in 1847 and still quite well-preserved. There’s a busy main street filled with shops and a young vibe – Roskilde is one of the country’s education and research hubs. The two main points of interest for visitors are the Roskilde Cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum.

We use the verb pay not only with money. You can pay homage, pay attention and pay respect.

First, the Cathedral. Built during the 12th and 13th centuries, its slim spires are a defining landmark in the city. The gothic cathedral is a beauty – a mix of both lush and gaudy chapels in diverse styles, along with magnificent gold sarcophaguses as well as more modest ones. In the early 15th century the cathedral became the main burial site for Danish kings and queens. All 39 monarchs were buried here and each could choose their ‘décor’ so to speak – hence the wildly variant burial styles. It’s also an interesting architectural timeline of what was popular design-wise from the Middle Ages until now. The most recent burial spot was added in 1985. The main chapel pays homage to the country’s popular King Christian IV who reigned from 1588-1648 and there are also impressive baroque organs.

Usually a person is struck down with a disease. But in this article the writer means that she had had too much of the boats.

But enough touristy stuff – my significant other is itching to explore some Viking shipwrecks. Between 1957 and 1962, five wrecks of Viking ships from the 11th century were excavated from the fjord near Skuldelev. Those ships can now be seen in the Viking Ship Hall located at the edge of the Roskilde Fjord. The museum itself has numerous exhibitions on Viking times, their life, how they were able to master the seas and highlights of local battles. They are continuously on the lookout for traditional Nordic boat types and today have 39 vessels. Next to the museum is an outdoor display of Viking ship making located on the docks. One area shows the metalwork process, another, how the oars were carved. Plus, you can watch craftsmen building full-size replicas of the Norse boats. I really have no knowledge of, or much interest in Vikings or ships, but even I found this part interesting. I let my other half explore the museum on his own – I was worried I might be struck down with a bout of boat-overload.

When our Viking questions had all been answered we noticed you could take a ride on a replica Viking ship. Well, ‘ride’ wasn’t the right term – you would be rowing. Well, this about sent my hubby over the edge, so we trotted off to find out when the next boat would set sail. Now this boat we were on was about 10 meters long. At the dock you could see replicas of 50 meters or more which would require 20 oarsmen per side. Donning life jackets, we hopped in with four other people, plus the driver, who wasn’t wearing a helmet with horns like I thought all Vikings did. This historic error aside, he taught us the rhythm so we could properly row as a group: Oars up – oars down.

It was a bit awkward until you got the flow going. You’d lift your arms up to drop the oar into the water, and then pull back high, towards your chest. Then, you’d scoop down towards your stomach to make the oar come up out of the water. You’d then push the oar outward towards your knees.

Once we got synchronized as a group, we moved out from the crowded harbor area and into the fjord. The pseudo-Viking steered as we rowed. Out away from other boats, he put up the sail and let the wind take us. We toured a bit and then he directed us back towards the dock. As we got closer, he took the sail down and we took up the oars again to glide us back in to port.

Viking lore aside, Roskilde was an easy daytrip from Copenhagen and enjoyable in its own right. The Old Town has parts dating from the 10th century, and there’s enough to keep the curious amused for a day. But a stroll along the edge of the fjord, through Viking history topped with experiencing the fjord from a boat made this medieval town one to remember.

Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona

Vikings Ahoy Quiz: Spicy

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